5,000 miles or 5 miles, what does it matter when the same Holy Spirit is at work in both your hearts.
New International Version (NIV)
1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,
To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations:
Trials and Temptations
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.
Happy Birthday, Manchild. We love you.
33 But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
A testimony. (Part Two of more than I know)
PSA: In case you think this is a grand exposé into my son’s life, it is not. This is just my testimony and the corrections I received as I walked this out with him. Carry on.
Once my son owned that he wasn’t worshipping this invisible God who I knew to be my personal savior, it took me some time to realize that this was his journey. That all my thoughts, experiences with this God were not on a hard drive that I could automatically download into him, that my children didn’t absorb the love I had for Him through some kind of spiritual osmosis.
I mean, I guess I knew that, but now, as cliché as it may be, I was beginning to really know it. And it was painful. This was new, unchartered territory for this mama’s heart.
When I realized, even though we were on opposite sides of a great spiritual chasm, I would survive, I started asking God some hard questions. Questions like:
- Why can’t they just have my faith by osmosis?
- Why is this parenting thing so hard?
- Why would You allow me to walk through this hard hurt?
- Why won’t You just fix this?
And to be honest, for a while…a long while…all I heard were crickets chirping. I talked to a couple of my good friends, who I could trust with what we were going through. The type of friends who don’t ridicule you when you are hurting, but come alongside and pray, who commiserate. They too were experiencing similar levels of disappointment and pain. They too had similar questions as mine. And we talked, but none of us had any answers. I knew this was something I had to flesh out with God by myself, for the most part.
After some time, I started getting a few answers to some of my hard questions to Him:
- You know it doesn’t work that way.
- Yeah, that parenting thing, I think I have a small idea about that one, and I’m right here with you, I haven’t left.
- My ways are not your ways.
- Who says I won’t?
And then the probing began, had I caused offense with my son? Had I done something that I had missed?
The Lord gently brought to mind when I found a home for his pair of pugs. Back story: My son bought with his own money two pugs, Luke and Lizzie, a pretty little black male and a sweet little fawn female. He had bred and sold some puppies from them. He had saved some money from them. They were his.
My grandmother was having more health issues and to make a long story short, she was going to move in with us. We sold our country house and bought a brand new build in Jenks. You weren’t supposed to breed dogs in the new neighborhood. I also knew that being the chewers that they were, her oxygen hoses and various electric cords could be a strong problem.
Now, my son understood, had assented to placing his pups in another home. But what I ended up doing was giving them to a couple in Stillwater for free. At the time, in my seeming necessity to get things done in a rush, I had not weighed out how this seemed to him. After all, from my view, they were going to a very good home. A professor and his wife: Pug lovers. But from his perspective, I had stolen. The Lord told me I needed to pay him for what he had paid for them. I did. I apologized and asked his forgiveness. I made restitution.
And a brick in the wall fell out.
I think I heard it audibly clunk as it broke the surface and then dissolved in to a vast sea of forgiveness.
The resentment I had caused had been a part of the division between he and this “God of justice” I had professed to love and serve, but that by my actions I had in very fact denied.
Please hear me, this is just part of my story, I am not putting anything on anyone who has a similar scenario happening with their child or children. There is no formula for How to Save My Child in Ten Easy Steps because salvation through Jesus Christ is all, and I mean all, God’s work.
It brings to mind a fictional character C.S. Lewis created named Aslan and his quote to Lucy in the story Prince Caspian,
“Things never happen the same way twice, dear one.”
And it’s true, a relationship with the living God isn’t some ABC formula I could follow. It wasn’t some “can of salvation” I could just pull off the shelf, pop the tab, chug and digest. God knows each of us so intimately.
Looking back, this was just the first landmark that was clearly visible to me. His beautiful, convicting work, this learning to walk in humility with my children. My personal confession of an offense I had created, expunged. This allowed for me to be put aside as He continued wooing my son’s heart by His Holy Spirit.
And the careful map He was continuing to engrave into my fearful heart was the one labeled TRUST. I love how nothing, nothing is wasted with our Lord. That each misstep He can turn around and use for good.
1 John 1: 8-9
8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
Counting down the days until I find this in my mailbox…around March 17th :D 12…11…10…
Here’s their link in case you feel you must order; that your life is not full or complete without their new c.d.
Public Service Announcement: I earn nothing for unashamedly pushing their goods, I just really, really like their music.
The fine line that exists between mercy and judgment is the divine redemption in the person, Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 3: 14-21
14For this reason I bow my knees before the Father,
15from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name,
16that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man,
17so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith ; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love,
18may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth,
19and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.
20Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us,
21to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.